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‘Dysfunction’ junction



I found Clifton Adcock’s article “Art suspension” (March 16, Gazette) particularly enlightening. The supersized farming discs erected on the front lawn of the newly christened Office of State Finance (OSF) building intrigue me and concerned me a bit.

Being a 22-year veteran of hazard mitigation, I look at man-made structures in terms of how they will “respond” to acts of nature, such as tornadoes and earthquakes. Will these structures help protect lives or will they fail?

Although the number of recorded tremblors in Oklahoma far exceeds the number of recorded twisters, they rarely cause significant damage. So, we prepare for tornadoes.

Fortunately, the new OSF headquarters building has been constructed to survive tornadic winds rated as a “5” on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale. (For us disaster geeks, that means a sustained three-second wind gust exceeding 200 mph.) Good for them.

However, I doubt those artsy discs will weather the storm as well. Instead, I suspect they will “go UFO” and wreak destruction and carnage downwind. Or, worse, they will rip through the OSF building itself. Now, that’s art suspended!

While I appreciate and support the intent of the Art in Public Places Act of 2004, I must question the choice in this case. Art can possess both form and function. Or, in this case, serious dysfunction.

—Dan Biby
Oklahoma City

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